STEELE CREEK NEWS
is being Made to Acquire Land for Steele Creek Greenways
20, 2005) The Steele
Creek Community Trail Committee, the
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department, the
Mecklenburg County Real Estate Services, and
local property owners have been working together to
acquire properties and easements along Steele Creek and Walkers
Branch for greenway trails.
Master Greenway Plan includes routes along Steele Creek
Branch. The Steele Creek Greenway runs almost 5 miles along Steele
Creek from the
Steele Creek Neighbor- hood Park (across from the schools north of
Road) to the South Carolina state line. The Walkers Branch Greenway
approxi- mately 2 and a half miles along Walkers Branch from Steele
(Highway 160) down to Steele Creek at the state line. Trails along
these greenways are part of a larger vision of trails following
stream beds, utility rights-of-way, parklands, and neighborhood
greenways throughout Steele Creek.
The county already owns land along the Steele Creek route north of
Red Hickory Lane. Property owners along most of the remainder of the
route have agreed to donate easements for the greenway trail. A few
are still in the discussion stage.
Gwen Cook, Greenway Planner with Mecklenburg County Parks
Department, has walked
most of the Steele Creek trail and determined the general route.
A greenway corridor typically needs to be at least 50 feet wide. For
most of its route, the Steele Creek Trail will follow the sewer
easement adjacent to the creek. The trail must be set back from the
creek about 30 feet and cannot pass through wetlands unless
mitigation occurs. Mitigation means that wetlands must be restored,
created, or enhanced elsewhere to compensate for any wetlands
damaged by construction of a trail or other development.
Supporters continue to work with property owners and hope eventually
to acquire rights to the entire Steele Creek Route.
Key property owners
along the Walkers Branch route also have offered support. However,
this route passes through a number of residential lots, and the
eventual trail may not be continuous.
donated or committed to donate land or easements on a number of
tributaries to Walkers Branch. So progress also is being made on
additional trails through the community.
Surveys along five properties on the Steele Creek route and two
on the Walkers Branch are ready to go. The Parks Department
staff will work with Mecklenburg County Legal Services to define
and acquire rights to easements there.
Once easements are
established, volunteers can--and will--clear vegetation along
portions of the route and create primitive trails that will be
available for walking or biking.
Donate to the Steele Creek
Community Trail through
Partners for Parks
PO Box 411371
Charlotte, NC 28241
Be sure to designate "Steele Creek Community Trail" with your
eventually will be 10 feet wide and paved with asphalt, but before
that can occur, the county will notify nearby residents and
community organizations that a trail is coming and give them an
opportunity for input on the design of the trail through public
meetings and workshops.
currently is earmarked specifically for constructing the Steele
Creek and Walkers Branch Greenway Trails, but support for the trails
is strong and the supporters are optimistic funding can be
identified when needed.
are just the beginning of a grand vision for trails in Steele Creek.
They will be a major amenity for the community and provide
opportunities for healthy activities as well as easy access from
residential areas to shopping, schools, employment, parks, the
library, and other key locations.
Efforts also are
underway to build trails in South Carolina that will connect to
Steele Creek at the state line. These will provide access to the
South Carolina Welcome Center on I-77, the Ann Springs Close
Greenway, and other sites in the Fort Mill and Tega Cay areas.
If you support the
trail efforts, please join your neighbors at the monthly meeting of
the Steele Creek Community Trail Committee, which meets every 3rd
Thursday at 7:00 at the Steele Creek Athletic Association Community
House at 13350 Choate Circle.
information, visit the
Steele Creek Community Trail web site or see the
Steele Creek Community Trail
Questions and Answers.